Blogger: Satish Shenoy
IA @ BCAS Blog #2
The Blog on Internal Audit recently launched by BCAS prompted me to pen down my thoughts on what a day in the life of a CAE looks like – what are the activities and engagements that fill the day of a CAE?
As a precursor to writing this blog, I looked at my calendar for the past few weeks and based on that, I ‘curated’ a day in the life of a CAE, giving the readers a flavour of the myriad of issues and activities that keep a CAE engaged through the day.
In my search for some relevant articles, I chanced upon a beautiful article “Succeeding as a 21st Century Internal Auditor: 7 Attributes of Highly Effective Internal Auditors by Richard Chambers and Paul McDonald.” I thought to myself, the attributes listed in the article resonate with any leadership role in a business organisation, including that of a CAE.
Here’s a sneak peek at my day:
I leave home at 7.45a.m. fresh after a good night’s sleep, my morning philosophical thoughts, a brisk 60 minute morning walk and a sumptuous breakfast. Purposefully, I do not make or take calls during the commute time as I use this as “Me-time” to plan my day. (On days that I am working from home, my commute time is replaced by ‘quiet’ time when I gather my thoughts to plan my day.)
My plan today includes:
- Creating strategies for countering difficult issues on hand, including a very serious process deviation with a high impact and it’s honest reporting in the ensuing Audit Committee;
- Planning for a structured 30 minute discussion with a Business Head to update him on the outcome of the work done by my team in the past 2 quarters;
- Informal calls to two senior business leaders which could perhaps help me gather clues for audit planning and execution;
- Discussion with two team colleagues to help them tackle some personal and work related difficulties;
- Discussion with a team colleague who has displayed an exemplary performance in a specific tough assignment and has earned the praise of the business;
- A pep talk to motivate a high performing team which has suddenly shown a downward trend in performance;
- Conveying to the HR, the proposed steps to increase gender diversity in the team;
- Reviewing the progress made on Deep-Dive Data Analytics assignment which was done in partnership with the Group Data Analytics Team, and;
- Making time to attend an exciting program on Future Trends in Auditing organised by a professional body.
As I glanced through the article by Chambers and McDonald, I was happy to note that the 7 attributes (Integrity, Relationship Building, Partnering, Communication, Team Work, Diversity and Continuous Learning) that the article dwells on seem so aligned to my activities of the day! I reflect upon the article and draw parallels with my day – I realize that each of my planned activity is aligned to one or more of the attributes.
I reach my office and I have a surprise waiting. There is a voice message for me that the Chairman of the Audit Committee wants me to talk to him @ 11am for 20 minutes – icing on the cake on a day that was building up to be yet another eventful day.
As the day unfolds, I take a few moments to gather my learnings:
- Not all things happen the way you plan;
- Not all people react the way you want them to;
- Some conversations are better than what you thought would be, and;
- Some people will surprise you with their goodness.
As I reflect, I acknowledge some other attributes that we, as internal auditors, need to have – agility, use of technology, adoption of data analytics resulting in giving an assurance with 100% validation rather than on test basis, active listening and unflinching focus on results. Some other day, maybe I will write about these.
As I am back in my car heading towards home, I introspect on my day, making a mental note of my unfinished agenda and new items lined up for the next day. I feel joyful, pleasurable, confident and contented – I indeed had a great day!!
What does your day at work look like? Is there something that you would like to change or do differently? Do you end your day with a sense of fulfilment?
I look forward to your feedback– let us have a peek into each other’s day, to make our days more fulfilling, more impactful.
The Blog solely reflects the personal views of the author(s).